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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Bracing For Obama Vacation Surprise

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US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Sasha watch the Oregon State University vs University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 22, 2013. Michelle Obama's bother, Craig Robinson, is the coach of Oregon State. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual winter holiday vacation. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Sasha watch the Oregon State University vs University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 22, 2013. Michelle Obama’s bother, Craig Robinson, is the coach of Oregon State. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual winter holiday vacation. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

JoeMatheu420x316-gradient Joe Mathieu
Joe Mathieu has returned to his professional home town and assumed the...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Any Presidential vacation comes with instant criticism. Usually over the cost.

And it is very expensive. Whether the President is going to Martha’s Vineyard or Hawaii. It’s a huge undertaking – not only moving the leader of the free world but also the family, staff, reporters and all the bells and whistles needed to bring the white house on the road.

The Hawaii Reporter crunched the numbers on last year’s trip and it came to about $4 million.

A big chunk of the tab comes from Air Force One. The President’s 747 runs almost $180,000 an hour according to the Congressional Research Service. And there’s a full complement of cargo planes and helicopters to go with that.

That’s why the boss – whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat – never gets a break when it comes to vacations. Even if he brings work with him.

And in the case of this President, the work has a way of finding him.

Indeed some have suggested President Obama is cursed when it comes to vacations because something big always seems to happen when he takes time off.

Just think back.

A trip to the Vineyard cut short after Senator Ted Kennedy dies.

A family vacation in Hawaii interrupted by the fiscal cliff.

More than one trip delayed to deal with a budget stand-off.

And remember the “underwear bomber?” Yeah that happened during a vacation too. On Christmas. The president was in Hawaii.

So while critics knock the cost of this trip reporters are holding their breath for what surprise might come next.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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